The Clifford Association

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Since the inception then creation of the Clifford Association in 1982 and then the publication of the 'House of Clifford' in 1987 the Clifford Family Tree has encouraged not only with proven genealogical ties, but Historians of varying interests in the establishment of cultures, of political persuasion in Great Britain and Internationally, to investigate more thoroughly the roots of 'Arbus Cliffordiana' and subsequently identify 'Branches' which have been recognised and flourished.

The enthusiasm shown by the Originators and the more recent Members of the Clifford Association has not only been encouraging to witness but has helped to unearth new and valuable facets of the Family History and also helped to correct questionable concepts about our Ancestors!

Through Heraldry, through investigation of County and Family Archives, even through the discovery of letters formerly hidden or unseen, the Association Member is encouraged to unearth, then reveal to the Family Web site, facts which have helped to establish, to identify the character, the culture of 'True Cliffords'.

Patron: Captain the Rt Hon the Lord Clifford of Chudleigh

Origin of the Clifford name

The Clifford family in Britain started with the invasion by William the Conqueror when the five FitzPons brothers came across from Normandy. Once described as one of the most interesting families in the 'history of these islands' an in depth look at the members of THE CLIFFORDS shows there is good reason for this. Walter de Clifford took his name from the Castle built near Hay on Wye, being built on a Cliff overlooking a ford. Domesday descendents are listed; Walter de Clifford son of Richard Fitz Pons of Clifford, Herefordshire and Mathilda of Gloucester. Margaret de Clifford wife of Walter I de Clifford, daughter of Ralph de Toeni and mother of Rosamund de Clifford Mistress of King Henry II. Lucia de Clifford, daughter of Walter and wife of Hugh de Say of Richard's Castle. Richard de Clifford, son of Walter and Margaret. Richard married Leticia de Berkeley and established the Cliffords of Frampton on Severn.

During the medieval years members of the family fought with and against the Kings of the day. They always held positions within the Court. In 1265 Sir Roger de Clifford helped to rescue the son of Henry III when he was being held prisoner by Sir Simon de Montfort's troops and ultimately the King himself at the Battle of Evesham. Robert de Clifford 1st Lord of Westmoreland distinguished himself at the siege of Caerlaverock in 1300 and a poem was written in his honour

Fast forwarding a little, Lady Anne Clifford daughter of Henry 3rd Earl of Cumberland (one of Queen Elizabeth's favourites) and his wife Lady Margaret Russell is well known for her fight, for about thirty years, to regain her property and Castles in the North which she eventually did in 1643. Lady Anne spent the rest of her years, after taking possession in 1649, in restoring them. She defied Cromwell during the Civil War years when she was prevented from travelling North to take possession. She lived to a great age of 86 years. Her legacies are her diaries and her 'Great Books of Record', which details the history of the family for 600 years, from 1066 and which were used to establish her rights to her property. A truly wonderful record of a most interesting family, which continues to this day.

The aims of the Association are to:

  • bring together people interested in the origins and history of the Clifford family
  • assist members engaged in original research into the Clifford family
  • collect and preserve all material dealing with the Clifford family, including the pedigrees of individual members at designated archives
  • publish information of interest to its members on a regular basis
  • organise a Gathering on an annual basis at places of interest to members.


Joining the Clifford Association allows you access to the records, archives and wills that have been collected by association members. You will also receive a newsletter twice yearly and can meet other Clifford descendents at the annual gathering. The gathering is held at places of interest to the Clifford family e.g. Ugbrooke House, Skipton Castle etc.

If you have the Clifford surname in your family tree and would like to join the association download the Application Form on the Contact Us page for information about subscription rates.


The Clifford Association tries as far as possible to check the validity of its data held on the Clifford family but cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur.

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Last Updated 15 May 2013 Jackie Tench